I will admit that I don’t know much about the Buddhist notion of Karma. My superficial understanding is that it has something to do with payback. And when I found out that Oskar had a chromosomal deletion, I felt like it was Karma.
The doctors assured me that I couldn’t have caused the deletion by eating or drinking the wrong thing. The problem had probably occurred at conception. Some flukey thing that no one could have caused, stopped or predicted.
So I looked deeper. Maybe I was being punished for being ambivalent about having a third child. Maybe it was retribution for something I did in a past life. Or something mean I said in high school. Clearly, it was my fault somehow, on some level. A Karmic level.
When I told my therapist this ( I’m from California, of course I have a therapist!) she sent me to a psychic she knew and trusted. She explained that she did not usually send her patients to a psychic, but she knew that as many times as she told me it wasn’t my fault, I was never going to believe her.
The psychic told me that Oskar had been in an accident in his most recent past life. Paralyzed from the neck down. With a breathing tube. He had been very angry and unhappy, and had left that body as soon as he could. She told me that when he reached the astral plane, instead of processing his life and his anger, he has basically “ jumped the line” and jumped into a new body as soon as he could get one. The universe had put him in another imperfect body so that he could learn the lessons he has refused to learn in the previous life.
Ok, so you can laugh at that story, or believe it or whatever you want, but here’s the moral. Here is what I came away with.
We all have our own Karma. We are all here on our own journey, to learn our own lessons. Oskar’s life is HIS journey. Who knows what he can do, or achieve, or learn in this life? For me to think that his challenges are all about me is an amazing bit of narcissism. My life is affected by him, for sure. He has changed the way I see the world. But for me to insist on believing that his whole existence is some kind of lesson for me belittles his importance to the universe.
And that it how I came to believe that it is not my fault.
Weird side note: Oskar was born with what looks like a tracheotomy scar on his neck. Like the kind of scar that would be left by say, a breathing tube. Doctors ask about it all the time. No idea where it came from.
SFX: spooky music.